Coupon queen Holly helps millions save money
PUBLISHED: 12:31 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:28 19 April 2018
Norfolk money-saving influencer doesn't let Asperger's stand in the way of hunting down bargains and helping others via tv
She’s got more than two million social media followers, reaches seven million people a week on YouTube, has starred in a BBC documentary – and has Asperger’s Syndrome.
Holly Smith, of Hopton, near Yarmouth, is an expert in saving money.
The mum-of-two saves thousands of pounds on holidays and groceries, donates many of her bargains to charity and helps people across the world stick to a budget.
She began using coupons to save money, and help afford holidays or little luxuries for her family.
Holly and her husband Callum, a sports massage therapist, have two daughters, six-year-old Mollie-Rose and five-year-old Bella-Marie. “They pick up free supermarket magazines and look for coupons in them!” said Holly.
At first her money-saving was a family thing, but Holly explained: “I had a friend who was extremely frugal like me! People called me Coupon Queen and her Voucher Vera. She was diagnosed with stage four cancer and told she only had three months to live.
“A week before she died she told me that I had a talent for money-saving and should make a blog. I didn’t know where to start but a week after her funeral I received an email saying I had won a competition for a free website design! I used it start my first blog.”
Holly was recovering from surgery at the time. She has a condition which meant she had to have tumours removed from her leg, and bone grafts to fill the gap, and has a rare digestive disease which can cause intense pain. Holly is also on the autistic spectrum, with a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. “It means I do not understand things like sarcasm or I struggle to understand emotional responses, and struggle to socialise because of it,” said Holly. “It also makes me feel the ‘need’ to have everything perfect and I like things to get finished and done properly.
“It does not mean I have any sort of problem having a laugh, enjoying everything everyone else does, it just makes it difficult for me to ‘fit in’ since I often misunderstand things that seem ‘normal’ to others.”
She blogged about the bargains she found and was soon being followed by thousands, and then millions, on social media.
She is also committed to supporting charities, giving away thousands of pounds worth of food and toys to good causes including the Benjamin Foundation, the Salvation Army, the NSPCC, Cancer Research and animal rescue centres. She holds the record for Britain’s biggest supermarket shop using coupons, when she bagged £1,164.39-worth of goods at Tesco in Lowestoft – and gave it all away to charity.
Spotted by both Channel 4 and the BBC, Holly has starred in programmes helping people curb their spending and dig themselves out of debt – including Radio 1 Stories: Asperger’s Moneysaver, in which she helps a credit-card overspender and talks frankly about the challenges of life with Asperger’s.
The show is available now on iPlayer at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05vvc8q
And don’t miss Holly’s money-saving tips in Heaven magazine’s Holly Saves The Day every Saturday.